Fact check: Trump falsely says Biden won't protect pre-existing condition protections

Posted September 22, 2020 4:50 p.m. EDT

President Donald Trump claimed in Michigan that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would destroy a lot of things for Americans: the suburbs, auto industry, jobs, Social Security, and — cue the record scratch — health insurance protections for pre-existing medical conditions.

"He will destroy your protections for pre-existing conditions, and we will save Social Security," Trump said in Freeland Sept. 10.

Trump’s claim is baseless.

The protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions were a key pillar of the Affordable Care Act that became law when Biden was vice president.

The law prohibited health insurance companies from refusing coverage to someone or charging them more just because they had a health problem before the new coverage took effect.

Biden still defends the law, including its protections for pre-existing conditions. He said that if elected president, he’d "protect and build on it."

In June, Biden told the story of 22-year-old twins from Pennsylvania who were able to get health coverage even though they were diagnosed with cancer when they were children.

"Because of the law, the ACA, the insurance companies could no longer deny them coverage because they're survivors of cancer, a pre-existing condition," Biden said. "I'm proud. I'm proud of the Affordable Care Act."

What Trump said also ignores efforts by his own administration and party to undermine and get rid of the ACA. Republican proposals to replace the ACA have not provided the same level of protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump’s campaign did not provide evidence to support the president’s claim.

One of Trump’s major 2016 campaign promises was to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which he calls a disaster. We rated that a Promise Broken. Trump continued to promote his pledge during his presidency, but Republican efforts to eliminate the law have failed.

Trump has falsely claimed that he "saved pre-existing conditions in your health care." Trump has supported the law’s repeal without offering a replacement that would keep pre-existing protections intact. Meanwhile, he has promoted the expansion of short-term health policies that don’t offer the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions.

PolitiFact ruling

PolitiFact: Pants on Fire

Trump said Biden "will destroy your protections for pre-existing conditions."

There is no basis for this claim. Biden wants to protect the Affordable Care Act, which created protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Trump and Republicans for years have tried to get rid of the health care law, without an alternative that would maintain the same protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump’s claim is inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!

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